Rise of Nations: Tactics Discovered On 38 Studios Servers

Rise of Nations: Tactics Discovered On 38 Studios Servers

Rise of Nations cover

The company auctioning the assets of defunct developer 38 Studios has discovered a new, complete but unreleased Rise of Nations game on its servers.

Ever played Rise of Nations: Tactics? The correct answer is "no," because it doesn't actually exist. Except it does exist - but nobody knew about it until yesterday.

The auction of 38 Studios assets is happening in December, as you may have heard, and will include things like the rights to various intellectual properties, among them Kingdoms of Amalur, Project Copernicus and, thanks to 38 Studios' acquisition of Big Huge Games in 2009, Rise of Nations. But you can't have an auction until you know what you've got to sell, and while auctioneer Heritage Global Partners was poking through the 38 Studios detritus, it made a very interesting discovery.

"Through the examination of the data contained on the 38 Studios servers, we have discovered a completed, but unreleased game for Mac users titled Rise of Nations: Tactics," Heritage Global Partners EVP Nick Jimenez said in a statement. "We only became aware of this game this past week through our own due diligence efforts."

The Mac thing is kind of a downer, with all due respect to the Apple fans among you, but it's still a fun discovery - the digital equivalent of discovering a Picasso while cleaning out your garage.

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How random is that. So what happened 38 studios did not make this game did they ? they got it and just totally forgot about it.

I'd love to see it cleaned up and released.

All I can assume is that the game is not actually finished... maybe their were huge and unbalancing issues that they thought they couldn't fundamentally work around... and that development for the mac platform just wouldn't justify the salary of the employees to fix it.

That said, I miss RoN. :/

I like Rise of Nations. That said I think it was bit too much complex for its own good.
How many resources were there? 6? Plus the rare resources.

AstaresPanda:
How random is that. So what happened 38 studios did not make this game did they ? they got it and just totally forgot about it.

There are two options. The management at 38 studios was so dysfunctional that the game did not appear in senior management's documentation or the game was sitting on the back burner at Big Huge Games (the RoN developer) when 38 studios bought them. Given what is publicly known about the management of 38 studios, I'd say it was a 50/50 shot.

Yozozo:
All I can assume is that the game is not actually finished... maybe their were huge and unbalancing issues that they thought they couldn't fundamentally work around... and that development for the mac platform just wouldn't justify the salary of the employees to fix it.

That said, I miss RoN. :/

It was a great game, I was surprised when the franchise went nowhere. Rise of Legends was ok, but I thought it sold enough to warrant another squeal.

As usual, the worst case scenario is that RoN gets scooped up EA. Despite their recent improvements, it's just as easy that they'll botch it up again and ruin the game's original flavor.

Still, I'd love to see another RoN game. The first game and its expansion pack was one of my first experiences with RTS gaming, and it's still installed on my PC.

I'd really like to see another RoN being a fan of the original and Thrones and Patriots. It always felt like a nice blend of CIV and Age of Empires to me, and I loved the RISK like conquest game mode of it. I hope this one or a new one sees the light of day (For PC so I can actually play it, that is)

Yozozo:

That said, I miss RoN. :/

Which strategy fan doesn't? It seems like the entire Historical RTS genre has been discarded. I can't remember any new games in the genre being released for a very long time. No RoN, no AoE, no EE, no Cossacks, and both Dawn of the Modern World and Rise and Fall never got sequels. And while the semi-RTS Stronghold 3 wasn't released too long ago, it was practically worthless.
It's a really sad state of affairs when the only games released not too long ago in an entire genre, are an HD remake of a game from 2000 and a picked up modpack.

At least we can look forward to 0 AD, even if there's no telling how long it will be before it's finished.

Full Metal Bolshevik:
I like Rise of Nations. That said I think it was bit too much complex for its own good.
How many resources were there? 6? Plus the rare resources.

Resource wise it was complex, but unit wise it was verging on ridiculous. Personally I think designing an RTS so that every unit is and has a hard counter is a mistake.

But overall RoN was a cool game. It had something of the Civ feel, only in a more compact playing session, and it had a more interesting path to non-combat victory than AOE.

Shamanic Rhythm:

Full Metal Bolshevik:
I like Rise of Nations. That said I think it was bit too much complex for its own good.
How many resources were there? 6? Plus the rare resources.

Resource wise it was complex, but unit wise it was verging on ridiculous. Personally I think designing an RTS so that every unit is and has a hard counter is a mistake.

But overall RoN was a cool game. It had something of the Civ feel, only in a more compact playing session, and it had a more interesting path to non-combat victory than AOE.

Yeah, I really the economic and city building aspect compared to other RTS (the comparison to a RT Civ is quite apt), but I really would have liked if the units weren't just rock, paper and scissors in different skins.

This is great. I hope it gets released some time but I'm also excited to hear that the Rise of Nations IP has a chance to end up in a "loving home" that won't just sit on it for half a decade.

Best case scenario is that RoN ends up in back in the hands of Brian Reynolds again. He's the mastermind of such things, and in order for it to take off again, he's probably got the right ideas. You could consider RoN a spiritual successor to AoE, but both advanced and streamlined in play (you can't build walls, for example, meaning you've got to rely on towers defending an open city).

Oh, such wonderful memories. The best video game my aggravated father never quite got the hang of.

Dr.Awkward:
Best case scenario is that RoN ends up in back in the hands of Brian Reynolds again. He's the mastermind of such things, and in order for it to take off again, he's probably got the right ideas. You could consider RoN a spiritual successor to AoE, but both advanced and streamlined in play (you can't build walls, for example, meaning you've got to rely on towers defending an open city).

I think Brian Reynolds is developing a Civ or AoE clone for tablets currently.

They keep on risssssiinnggggggg!
Rise of Nations is one of my favourite Age of Empires style RTSs, that and Age of Mythology

Y'know, if 38 Studios sank a bunch of time and development money into a Macintosh game that never saw release, it would go a ways towards explaining how they managed to go through such a ridiculous swath of cash in such a short amount of time with very little to show for it. Not just in particulars, but in general.

I'm not saying that's what happened. The "leftovers from the company they absorbed" hypothesis sounds more likely. But it would make for a better explanation than what's been on the books so far.

Interestingly enough, a business school paper mentioned yet another game that Big Huge Games had partially developed for PS3/360 before being bought by 38 Studios. It was described as being similar to something that 38 Studios was working on, so it's probably in reference to the unfinished MMORPG. I guess we'll see soon enough, although it's probably a moot point considering how late it is in the 7th gen console cycle.

It's kind of surprising that nobody would have known about any projects that BHG brought to the table before the acquisition, and after 38 studios fell. Then again, when companies fail, almost everyone just shuts down and walks away.

RionP:

Yozozo:

That said, I miss RoN. :/

Which strategy fan doesn't? It seems like the entire Historical RTS genre has been discarded. I can't remember any new games in the genre being released for a very long time. No RoN, no AoE, no EE, no Cossacks, and both Dawn of the Modern World and Rise and Fall never got sequels. And while the semi-RTS Stronghold 3 wasn't released too long ago, it was practically worthless.
It's a really sad state of affairs when the only games released not too long ago in an entire genre, are an HD remake of a game from 2000 and a picked up modpack.

At least we can look forward to 0 AD, even if there's no telling how long it will be before it's finished.

Well Age of Empires 2 just got an official unofficial expansion, though really it's just a bunch of mods packaged together. Still, gave me a reason to pick the game up again on Steam, and I'm currently playing through it.

So taking a fresh look at the game again, for the good/bad I will say...

Pro's:
Complex resource and technology system
Emphasis on town & castle building
Random generated maps and need for exploring
Complex selection of units & upgrades

Con's:
Micro unit management, pathfinding

The game is still great but when it comes to controlling your army and engaging in battle everything turns into one big uncontrollable clusterfuck. It's nice that the arrange themselves in order and march in sequence, but it's near impossible to line them up in a specific way, things break down in tight quarters, and units can't bypass each other and can get stuck in groups. Siege battles obviously need some finer control but when it comes to army engagement you're basically stuck selecting all and clicking attack, and letting the AI work things out.

So personally I'd love to see them make a new game that keeps all the complexity of the original (and don't reduce/get rid of walls like in Age of Mythology or Rise of Nations), but makes the armies larger and employs the finer control found in the Total War games. Drop the control+# hotkey approach, and let me turn a selection of units into a single clickable group that I can line up in click & drag formations. Then give us better individual pathfinding, so you can say start a group of archers up front then pull them back through a rank of pikeman, and the game would be near perfect in my opinion.

Full Metal Bolshevik:
I like Rise of Nations. That said I think it was bit too much complex for its own good.
How many resources were there? 6? Plus the rare resources.

if I remember right some resources were available before you could use them, so a competent player would fight over oil even though their sword and shield military couldn't use it.

Or maybe that was just a game mode I played back then, it's been a while.

Still, my favorite memory was finally getting a nuke silo made and nuking one computer player who then nuked someone completely different, starting a nuclear war between the two.

I just rolled my tanks in to clean up after they were both down to their last city.

That being said, I expect this game was severely unbalanced just like the other RoN games, but the fact that it's for Mac users makes me think it's really for the iOS and could of been in development as a tablet or iPhone RTS game.

After all, making games for smartphones and tablets was the rage a couple of years ago, it wouldn't surprise me.

Kalezian:

Full Metal Bolshevik:
I like Rise of Nations. That said I think it was bit too much complex for its own good.
How many resources were there? 6? Plus the rare resources.

if I remember right some resources were available before you could use them, so a competent player would fight over oil even though their sword and shield military couldn't use it.

Or maybe that was just a game mode I played back then, it's been a while.

Still, my favorite memory was finally getting a nuke silo made and nuking one computer player who then nuked someone completely different, starting a nuclear war between the two.

I just rolled my tanks in to clean up after they were both down to their last city.

That being said, I expect this game was severely unbalanced just like the other RoN games, but the fact that it's for Mac users makes me think it's really for the iOS and could of been in development as a tablet or iPhone RTS game.

After all, making games for smartphones and tablets was the rage a couple of years ago, it wouldn't surprise me.

Oil was revealed when you hit the Industrial Age, but people did used to fight over the patches of rock where they would show up. Which was quite amusing when you were new to the game.

Actually one of the best things about the game was the Cold War campaign added in the Thrones and Patriots expansion. It wasn't quite Twilight Struggle, but it modelled 'police actions', spy missions, DEFCON levels, and included fairly authentic recreations of the main conflicts of the period. The Afghanistan mission just saw you being ambushed constantly, while the Korean mission was nearly impossible for the Americans unless you did a deal with China to keep them out.

New Rise of Nations! YAY!

Mac... Boo...

I do wonder if we'll see a sequel series springing up out of this.

 

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